Never have I ever placed my naked flesh in the arms of
the gnarled and crooked branches of
A man’s arms
did not possess the power to rip off pieces of my soul – bit by bit – as though peeling off price tags from his most recent happy purchase from an electronics store.
I am NOT a commodity…
Though America has told me to waste half my life as though I were nothing more
than a walking pussy waiting for someone to put a rock on my finger.
I was a child that wrapped her arms around trees
Thrust her hands into the mud without worrying about
getting my purple dress dirty –
Allowing sweet brown filth to take a nap in the beds of my
I collected rocks and hid them under my pillow –
Carefully giving them names because they were alive and special.
Begging to grow up so that I could take the earth and
my love to a safer place – one where I didn’t have to
hide my rocks because no one would have the power to tell me
that I was not allowed to love whatever I found
What makes anyone think that I would wear a rock on my hand in exchange for birthday cock-sucking and a better tax return?
To lay in a cold bed next to someone who never knew me beyond
an investment – bitter ideology – and the name they force me to wear like a crown when it is nothing more than the removal of my own identity.
I still collect rocks – they are safer in my bedroom
than if they were to be left outside –waiting to be used and
discarded as something without value because they sparkle less
than the ones that you wear in your ears.
I loved every inch of those ears until I realized that they hold nothing between them
But fence lines.
Never have I ever
sat under the stars with someone I loved
and felt them dying less than they are right now
Like syrup and heavier
than the one before…
We are infinite and we are empty
We are lost and we cling to one another because we hold so much
Unused love in the overflowing rivers of our veins.
Clinging to the memories we create – created – will never create… allowing others to dictate what those creations should be
poems never written
broken hearts never allowed to ache
tears never being born
life never lived
forgetting that tomorrow we will die and not even our memories
will sustain the timespan it takes for light to travel to this moment and momentarily twinkle
for our decaying organs to behold in moments of pure awe.
If anyone can remember what it was to feel
Never have I ever
mastered the fear that lines my skeleton like a cage
Shaking my bones from the birth of my dreams
To the resurrection of my nightmares
These metal bars that wrap around my soul like an electric barbed wire fence
Shock me into
Multidimensional views of the coercion of humanity’s consciousness
Hold me in place – paralyzed and aware
Of the destruction all around me.
I have searched for the key to this cage
In the pockets of fraying cardigan sweaters
In-between the lines of poets and philosophers
In the eyes of every person who ever lied and said
That they truly loved me for who I am and not what I could give them.
The key they say – dissolves sweetly under the tongue
Helps you sleep better too. Easier breathing. Less hoping
for a better world. Just sleep and forget that you
Care a little bit too much sometimes.
Never have I ever believed them.
Never have I ever let them convince me to love
Just a little bit less
Never have I ever let anyone convince me to put my rocks back outside.
But I take the pills – close my eyes and fall numb to the bleeding panic-
the plague of sight that shatters my heart like a mirror that reflects the torture of minds
every second of every last molasses breath I take
it could be my last
though I wish it were
Never have I ever allowed those wishes to stop me
Dedicated to Jeremiah Walton: The poet who dared the world to write a “never have I ever poem.” I decided to take the challenge. Thank you.